Sunday, 31 March 2013

Creating a reading room

1. Buy a shed on Ebay for £400

2. Woodstain it to remove the garish yellow colour

3. Staple gingham fabric to the back wall to create 'wall paper'

4. Buy second hand linoleum from Ebay for the floor (£20) and move a garden bench inside.

5. Add a garden table gifted from a relative, that never really 'worked' in the garden

6. Add Harry Potter style book side tables that were a great idea in the house until everyone had stubbed their toes on the solid concrete at least once.

7. Put old cushions and blanket on bench for comfort

8. Bling it all up with a glitzy mirror from a local auction room.

9. Hang a chandelier (this is a bit of a disaster and will have to be changed)

Ta da! A reading room waiting to be filled with books....

Saturday, 30 March 2013

SJ's progress

Remember SJ from here? We took this photo a few days ago and you can see the progress that she has made in less than four weeks.
Notice the definition around her waist and how her tummy has started to draw in, see the loss of inches around her thighs and arms.
SJ has achieved this without feeling ANY hunger and exercising in short but regular bursts. Not aerobic exercise that leaves you red faced, out of breath and with aching muscles (and there is a place for that but it will come later!)
She has been doing daily 10-20 minute pilates session and following these recommendations, she has been doing the 'conscious movement' whilst decorating her house and doing the garden.
If anything, she struggled to fit the four meals a day into her schedule, but to maintain this success, it is important that she keeps her calorie intake high enough, especially when we start the more intensive exercise regime.
The most successful part of the last few weeks has been that she has been able to cut out sugar, for her long term health, this will make the biggest change.  Physically look at the difference between the photos, her skin tone has changed quite dramatically, in the first photo she is more dimpled and her skin looks 'older' in this one, it could be ten years younger and that is in just a few weeks.  SJ was convinced that the quality of her skin was down to age and nothing could be done to improve it, so she is really thrilled with how she is looking.
The weather has been so awful that I think that her success is even more remarkable, she has stuck to the recommendations and not been tempted by hot chocolate and cake, which would be understandable.
For the next four weeks we will maintain the eating plan and start to move into more intensive exercise.

Friday, 29 March 2013

Rene Caovilla...

Rene Caovilla shoes haven't made it to the mainstream like many other similarly priced brands.  They seem to be reserved for those who are totally uncompromising in their desire for footwear as art.  But everyone keeps fairly quiet about them, even though many a fashion editor may be Caovilla shod, they seem to want it to be a secret that is never known, like the perfect boutique hotel or the best restaurant in town.
There are no fakes available from China however hard you search and the manufacture is still 100% European and by hand.
The shoes are incredibly comfortable and very balanced and delicate, you need to hold a pair in your hand to  see the difference between the machine made mass produced and these that are all hand made.
Bearing in mind that I have the propensity to look like a drag queen with my rugby player shoulders and height, I'm always drawn to anything that counterbalances the possible presence of a Y chromosome.

This is the collection for this summer although to purchase online you need to visit here, but be warned the prices are not for the faint hearted! 

RC shoes never really date as they weren't ever 'fashion' to start with, just incredibly made beautiful fripperies!

The signature design is part of this incredible topiary feature...
 And yes, my fantasy Venetian home from home for the Carnival season would look just like this....

Minimalism is not the RC way....

Gold? Swarovski? jewels? can't have enough of them..

This is from Glamorous in Dubai (she's an RC fan the bag is from one of the collections) this is how I always seem to end up after a really big night out!!

Thursday, 28 March 2013

A wealth of choice...

Is what I didn't have when a friend called and asked me to come to fashion-y coffee morning with her and 5 of her trendy friends.  My wardrobe currently consists of jeans, jumpers and sports wear and some summer dresses that were at the bottom of one of the first boxes that I unpacked in the cottage.
Luckily I had bought a Zara jacket on Ebay (it cost 30 quid, way more than I would normally every spend, but I really liked the style and thought that I would get a lot of wear out of it).
I put it on with a sports top, my son's skinny jeans and a pair of TK Maxx shoes, I thought the outfit was ok, but looking at these pics, it is obviously all a little too snug and I look like I am about to burst out of everything. 

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Notting Hill Moscovite

I had a meeting at Granger in Notting Hill.
Granger is the new 'in' coffee bar frequented by yummy mummies post Wetherby drop off and various fashion and media types from the companies near by.
I still haven't quite mastered taking pictures when I am out and about, but the interior is nothing to write home about anyway (neither was the service and we were only having coffees yet they got it wrong 3 times!)
As it is still cold blah blah weather (who hasn't had enough of a. it b. talking about it?), I wore my faux fur (which turned out NOT to be it was £80 quid and described as fake fur, the body is, but the trim is most definitely of some poor unfortunate creature) and sheepskin Cossack hat, along with the £4.99 Victoria Beckham (via Ebay) jeans and ALDO utility style heeled sheepskin boots.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Asda Swag

It's not that I am a snob about supermarkets, more that I have an irrational fear of them, somehow in a Harry Potter Death Eater-type way  they suck out your soul when you step inside. This fear subsides the higher up the supermarket scale you go, normally because the posher they are, the smaller and the less menacing they seem.
Asda was always my nemesis, but the petrol works out £15 cheaper a tank and one day after filling up, I decided to go for it and look inside.
I bought these roses for £10, a selection of easter and birthday presents for between £1 and £5, some £2 glittery wrapping paper (although they didn't have ribbons even though the store was GIANT), a £2 cat collar for Miss B (she likes all things pink and sparkling) and a selection of mini wines 4 for £5.
Perhaps not your average supermarket haul, but I had to make sure that I didn't buy anything that could be found at the local village shop, and I still hid the bags in a box when I unloaded the car just in case the shop keeper was watching.

Monday, 25 March 2013

£2.50 Kameez...

I did a post before about my new favourite Ebay search .  This was my next purchase for the princely sum of £2.50 , it is pure silk with gold embroidery.  I was struggling to find an outfit for a dinner at an Oxford college among the clothes that I had taken with me to the cottage.  
I had bought the Kameez for the top as I thought it would be nice in Summer with skinny/cropped white trousers and flats.  It doesn't really work with the black jeans and heels.
I had thought that the skirt (which turned out to be trousers would be a complete write off). But paired with the Uniqlo £14.99 merino wool jumper(!) it achieves (something close to) the Tim Walker look that I loved so much from Vogue.